Home & Decor

Disaster-proof your family finances

65933HBy Kaleigh Sainthill

(NC)—The recession may be over but many Canadian families are still struggling to regain financial stability. The average Canadian household debt reached an all-time high of $96,100 in 2009, according to The Vanier Institute of the Family.

“The economic slowdown in 2008 and 2009 was a wake-up call for many families who realized they were unprepared for financial upheaval,” said Liz Lunney, senior vice president, Fiduciary Trust Company of Canada. “The good news is that a few simple steps can help families prepare themselves for the unexpected.”

Here are four tips to “disaster-proof” your family finances:

• Create a realistic family budget with your partner. Ensure you account for all family activities and include a reasonable amount for entertainment. Review your budget regularly to ensure you stay on track.

• Have a safety net. Prepare for the unexpected and contribute to a “rainy day” account that will cover your budget should you face an unplanned drop in income. Experts say a good target is six months income. Additional tips on financial planning for the future are available at www.fiduciarytrust.ca.

• Get your advisor involved in your family finances and meet with them regularly. A trusted professional can help you build the right financial plan.

• Plan for the future. Ensure that your financial plan addresses short- and long-term goals. Make your children’s education and your own retirement top priorities. Open an RRSP for you, and an RESP for each of your children.


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